Why You Have More Space in Your File Cabinet Than You Think

file_cabinetsThe term “thickening agent” generally refers to paint and food products, but you might be surprised at how many thickening agents are in your file folders. Unlike gumbo, however, your files are much better off without these thickening agents. Here are six examples:

1. Archives.

Older files, that don’t require quick access, are the thickest of thickening agents in your file cabinet. These should be stored more remotely. The truly effective filing system will have a plan in place for regularly rotating these files out.

2. Owners Manuals.

Owners manuals get used so infrequently, that they don’t merit filing. A simple drawer or box should do the trick OR toss them and find your owner’s manuals online. Also, I have seen owner manual files with extra parts and fixtures tossed in. That’s madness! A simple Ziploc bag with manual and parts is easier to deal with.

3. Stuff You’re Never Going To Read.

Most of us have investments, but how many of us actually read those prospectus’s that come in the mail? If you’re hanging on to those in a file because you believe you should read them, don’t kid yourself. You will never find the time . Toss now.

4. Envelopes.

I see full envelopes, often unopened, thrown into files and it makes me nuts. Because the contents are folded in three, keeping an envelope, quadruples the thickness. Why four times thicker and not three times? Because you have to factor in the thickness of the envelope itself, the return envelope, and all those useless inserts. Raggedly torn envelopes are even worse. They add to the thickness and confusion.

5. Paperclips.

Use staples wherever possible. Paper clips not only make files thicker, but misshapen, especially those big binder clips. I have never found them to be necessary in a file

6. Excess pages.

With every credit card statement, check to see if you really need to keep all pages. Often there are one or two pages of advertising or something else irrelevant, in the back.

Don’t be surprised if the first three items double or even triple your file space. The last items may seem small and insignificant, but if you make a practice of eliminating these thickening agents, you will be amazed how these small space gains can add up.

Is your file cabinet a lean, mean filing machine or is it filled with emulsifiers?